Crafting idyllic havens for lovebirds
By - Manuel Kitheka
| December 29th 2012
A wedding venue determines the beauty and aura a wedding exudes and is thereby a factor to consider, writes Manuel Kitheka
Long gone are the days when weddings were a low-keyed, casual and drab affair. Back then it didn’t matter much whether the occasion was decked out in a kaleidoscope of coloured fabrics, lots of flowers, glamour and aplomb. A typical scripted occasion would start out from the church venue before the entourage goes for a simple reception likely hosted at a primary school in the local neighbourhood.
Never mind the venue or background for the very special moment. All that counted was the exchange of matrimonial vows and the coveted rings. The day’s highlight for instance would be the ceremonial occasion. And whether it took place in a poorly-lit room whose walls were bare in the local school or the more spruced up church hall, was not really a big deal.
But fast-forward to the 21st century — and the stakes are now pegged on higher, extravagant and even at times sophisticated premium. The changing trends, fast catching on within the comparatively lucrative wedding industry, seem to play a pivotal role in the grounding of fairly over rated, innovative standards.
Consequently, the wedding industry service providers are being compelled to step up their game to gain a more aggressive footing and edge over competitors. Planners also have no choice, but to go out of their way, to pay keen attention to specific bride or groom preferences.
“We, and I guess other players, were previously a plain wedding option, whereby the bridal party would be offered only the grounds if they were keen on having a garden wedding,” says Evans Kabue, general manager of Ridgeways Park Hotel’s Green Gardens, situated along Kiambu road.
Despite being established in the wake of spiralling shift by developers to embrace countryside locations, demand for leisurely recreation spaces set within a natural environment keeps growing in leaps and bounds.
“We realised our potential clients’ desire so much more than added value. The packages we provide are varied, but include the serenity of open gardens, manicured lawns, well-tended flowers, trees and the chirping birds as a bonus. This setting also guarantees a soothingly refreshing, stimulating experience and exclusive atmosphere”, notes Evans.
The need to conceptualise and generate competitively tailor-made wedding packages for an increasing discerning clientele is the fuel that drives and dictates trends in the sector. In the quest to outdo their peers, cuddly-lovebirds are loosening their grip on the purse so as to raise the bar and successfully pull off a glamorous wedding ceremony.
Consequently, hired gardens have become an ideal bet on the weddings circuit, more so owing to the flexibility the open-air venues offer to the planner or couple. The buoyant and professionally landscaped twin-garden’s spacious scenery is eye-catching. But it is the complete view of the Green Gardens, which first catches and grips one’s attention.
“We accidentally stumbled upon these gardens with my fiancée and promptly decided since it’s bound to suit our requirements in near-perfected precision — we shelve the previous agreed upon arrangement to make a booking for a hotel-setting wedding”, enthuses bride-to-be Nina Kagendo.
The numerous trees dotting the lushly knit gardens not only complement the multi-colourful, flowery shrubs. They blend flawlessly with the meticulously trimmed and manicured grass lawn, whose setting reflects a unique combination and balance of assorted flowers.
“This was one of the reasons we opted for the out-door wedding. It goes a long way to set the mood for a picturesque ceremony, but only if it does not rain and the sky stays blue”, remarks the soon to be bride.
Within a span of six months, the Green Gardens offer alternative outdoor event options in a wedding industry saturated with identical packages.
“The best thing about gardens-for-hire is the flexibility attached to their premium worth, besides other multiple benefits in line with prevalent market trends”, notes Evans.
The twin-garden space supplements one of the standard packages, which also includes custom-made venue décor, floral arrangements, tiered cakes, banquets and entertainment options.
“We often put together on request, a special romantic dining bouquet that is inclusive of accommodation for guests within the premise without the additional headache of looking for quarters elsewhere after such a tiring, long but exciting day”, adds the manager.
The garden’s other jewel is its state-of-the-art honeymoon suite, whose interior is royalty — class and especially well designed to cater for newlyweds’ whims. Eye-catching architectural designs — ranging from wrought iron doors to customised stairways winding up the castle-like, three-storied building, dot the surroundings and add
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